Trinity’s Beard to continue playing career at LSU-Alexandria
Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 7, 2016
NATCHEZ — It all happened faster than expected for Tali Beard.
But the Trinity Episcopal Day School standout wouldn’t have had it any other way.
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After attending a softball camp at LSU-Alexandria in October, Beard returned home to find a scholarship offer shortly thereafter to which she quickly accepted.
Beard made her decision official in December when she signed college scholarship papers to be a part of the Lady Generals’ 2016 recruiting class.
“I was nervous and excited,” Beard recalled of her signing day last month.
Although things happened at a brisk pace for Beard, LSU-A was always at the top of her list as her older sister, Kennedy, is currently a junior on the team.
“That’s going to be cool,” Beard said of playing with her older sister. “I only got to play with her once, but that was in summer league, so it doesn’t really count. I’m excited about that.”
Additionally, Beard was pleased with the Alexandria-based campus and its tight-knit community, something she found familiar with her time at Trinity.
“I like that it’s small,” Beard said. “Obviously, I come from a small school, so anywhere else would just be too hard. It was always LSU-A.”
Yet Beard was quick to note as to what will be required of her at the next level in hopes of securing a starting role.
“There’s going to be a lot more practice,” she said. “There’s going to be more competition for a spot, and it’s going to require more work.”
This past season, Beard posted a .514 batting average and led the team in RBIs and triples.
“She’s our No. 3 hole hitter,” Trinity coach Miranda Smith said. “She was our best power hitter and the one who drove in all the runs. When the game is on the line, she is the one I want up to bat. She’s just that player.”
The senior was equally effective and versatile in the field, evidenced in her ability to switch from catcher to shortstop after spending her previous three seasons behind the plate.
“From a coach’s perspective, Tali is one of those players you can’t pass up,” Smith said. “She is going to be useful somewhere … She can play anywhere on the field.”
And despite losing a leader and a catalyst on the field, Smith beamed with pride in seeing one of her student-athletes sign to continue their education and athletic prowess at the next level.
“This is my goal as a coach,” Smith said. “I made it as a goal of mine, not just to have a good season, but I wanted any girl that wanted to play at the next level to get that chance, and I would do anything I could to help them get that chance.”
While Beard remains excited about her future, she will always carry strong memories of her time spent at Trinity in competing alongside her teammates.
“I’m going to remember all my coaches, and I will always remember playing Franklin Academy,” Beard said. “We beat Franklin once and they beat us three times.”
Beard is the daughter of Charlotte and Danny Beard.